Monday, November 22, 2010

The Illness Spreads...

Well, thankfully, Miss Katie is doing 1000% better compared to this time last week. The flu seems to be gone, the runny nose has tapered off, and her good spirits are back at last. But, now I am sick. In bed. With the chills and a massive sinus headache. Turns out, I now have a "very, very, very bad sinus infection". But, this blog isn't about me, so we'll just leave it at that! :)

The good news is that Katie is on the mend, her Grandmother, Aunt and an Uncle are coming to visit in two days for Thanksgiving weekend, and her make-up birthday party is on Saturday. As long as I can get some meds in me, I should be good as new by Thanksgiving Day. And, if not, at least I have family to take care of the munchkin while I eat my turkey dinner in bed. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Flu

Our poor little monkey has a case of The Flu. Apparently her birthday illness was a tad bit more than just a "virus" as the doctor stated on Monday morning. She seemed to be on the mend, attended day care the past couple of days, but then I received a call late yesterday afternoon from the Director, letting me know she had a fever of 101.8.

I picked her up, came home and she seemed to be OK - albeit a little tired. I put her to bed around 7:30 and she slept fine all night. Now, the past couple of mornings, she has been VERY snotty whenever I have gotten her out of her crib, so I was expecting another round of wiping the nose, suctioning, etc. What I wasn't expecting, however, was to walk in and discover that Katie's sheets were smeared with blood - apparently, she got a bloody nose at some point in the night/early morning. Her face had blood smeared all over it, her hair was crusty from the blood, and her sheets, mattress pad and crib rail cover were also stained.

I was HORRIFIED. Given that I saw the blood before I saw her face (she was still sort of lying down), I freaked. I started yelling. DH thought she had died. Honestly, it was a scene out of a very, very bad movie.

Just to err on the safe side, I called the doctor to see if we needed to do anything before our 8:30 appointment, but she told me no - this was perfectly normal. It's cold outside, dry inside, and a blood vessel obviously popped. She also reassured me that what I saw was a lot worse than what it really was.

I took her to the doctor an hour later, and immediately she wanted to do a flu test - sure enough, it was positive. Of course, it's too late to really treat her, so we are going to let it run its course. Thankfully, despite having a head full of snot, she is doing very well. Not too cranky.

Is the week over yet?

Monday, November 15, 2010

1st Birthday: A Bust

Dear Katie,

Everyone told us before we had kids that we must learn to be flexible and understand that nothing - I mean, nothing - will go as planned. Whoever those people were, they were right.

Oddly enough, as your 1st birthday was approaching, we decided that we weren't going to have a BIG party. You don't know the difference, and we didn't feel the need to have an actual party to celebrate the fact that a) you turned a year old and b) we made it through the first year unscathed. But, as the day got closer, we started to change our mind. Before I knew it, within a day or two notice, we had invited several friends to stop by for a slice of pizza and some cupcakes.

Grandma M flew in Friday night to celebrate with you - she wasn't able to be here for the birth, so we thought it was fitting she come for your 1st birthday. Your Great Aunt B was planning to stop by, and so were a few of your "Kappa" Aunts and some other friends.

Saturday morning, I was shocked to wake up to the sound of you crying. For starters, it was 7 am - much to early for you to be up, and second, it was much to early for you to be crying. I walked into your room to see you standing there just sobbing, with the biggest tears streaming down your face. I picked you up, and as you put your head on my shoulder, I felt that the back of your head was on fire. Sure enough, you had a 102.5 fever, and were downright miserable.

Needless to say, your 1st birthday party was canceled, and you spent the entire weekend laying in our arms. I have to say, as your Mother, I loved it (for selfish reasons). You were so loving and just wanted to be held. You slept in my arms, you slept in Daddy's arms and you slept in Grandma's arms.

Thankfully, almost 60 hours later, you are feeling better. Fever is gone and you will be headed back to daycare in the morning (knock on wood). And, now, Daddy and I will plan a party do-over for you...one in which you will be able to wear your #1 onesie and your hot pink tutu!

Again, Happy Birthday, pumpkin!

Love,
Mommy


Taken on your actual birthday - with your pants off. Classy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Katie!!!

Dear Katie,

One year ago today, Daddy and I walked into the hospital and just a few short hours later, you arrived. You were, and still are, perfect. This entire week, I have been asking myself and everyone around me where the time has gone. One year. 365 days. How has it just flown by with a blink of the eye?

One year ago, we were trying to figure out how to hold you, how to feed you, how to change you, how to bathe you, figure out what your cries meant, and so much more. We were filled with more emotions than you can possibly imagine, and couldn't believe how lucky we were.

Today, we look at you and still just shake our head with disbelief. How did we get so lucky to have a baby who is as loving, funny, smart, (dramatic) and just plain adorable? You have taught us about love and patience, and I can't imagine everything else you are going to teach us in the years to come.

One year ago today, you slept and ate. Today, you smile, laugh, crawl all over the place, love to hug all of your stuffed animals, love to hug us, love going to the store and looking at everyone walking by, love pointing to the dog and to lights, make attempts to say "hoo hoo" when you look at the owl picture hanging on your wall, say "mama", "dada" and "up". You no longer drink milk out of a bottle (except for early in morning), you eat basically anything we will eat, and as of this week - you no longer want to be rocked before bed.

We love you more than anything!

Happy Birthday, sweat pea, pumpkin, monkey (bear), baby.

We love you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Getting back into the swing...

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged. To say that the past month has been busy, or even a blur, is a complete understatement. Between my Grandfather passing away, two trips out of town, and a ton of other things going on, blogging has been the last thing on my mind. It wasn't until this weekend, while out of town, that we watched Katie clap for the first time, did I realize I really need to get back into the swing of things.

It's amazing to me how much she has changed over the past month. Just to give a few highlights...

*She turned 10 months old on September 12th!
*She attended her first birthday party for a new friend, Camryn, who will actually be in her Toddler class next year.
*She has started standing, and as each day goes by, is getting more and more daring with letting go of whatever she is holding onto.
*She cruises along the furniture, or the wall at daycare.
*She started wearing shoes (yay -shoe shopping!!!)
*She started clapping this past weekend, which is adorable.
*She has become SO affectionate to her stuffed animals, and is even showing affection to random objects, such as a water bottle, remote control, blocks, and even her own hand. Whatever it is she is holding, she brings it up to her ear and makes a "hmmmm" noise and softly smiles. SO.FREAKING.CUTE.
*She has become obsessed with Elmo, and even received her first Elmo doll/toy from her Aunt A yesterday!
*She mimicks so many different sounds that people make - not necessarily right away, but at some point a day or two later, will imitate a noise she heard you make.
*She took her 2nd airplane trip to PA to visit family (this past weekend) and did great on the airplane this go-round.
*She is moving more in the direction of eating real food, as opposed to pureed baby food.

There are probably so many more things that she has done, but these are the ones I can think of right away.

Pictures to come later this week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Double Ear Infection

Dear Katie,

You poor little monkey, you. This week has not been a good one for anyone in our family, between a death in the family and, now, you have a double ear infection. Nothing like being a little overachiever - forget just having one ear infected, but you had to go and have two!

When I picked you up from daycare yesterday afternoon, your fever was 102.6, but just a short while later, it was already up to 103.6. Mommy was scared!!! To me, that just seems so high, but the doctor just gave you some Motrin, checked your ears and sent us on our way.

Sometimes, I have wondered this week if you have sensed that Mommy has been very sad because you have been extra loving this week. You even fell asleep on my chest on Monday afternoon - something you rarely even did as a newborn. It was just what I needed, as I am going through a rough time this week, grieving over the death of your Great Grandfather.

Your Grandmother is coming to visit you tonight and will be taking care of you this weekend. It's Mommy and Daddy's first time away from you. I'm sad that we are leaving you here, but I'd rather you get better than drag you on a 14-hour round trip car ride!

Feel better sweet pea!

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Drying Up Milk

I honestly never thought that quitting breastfeeding would be such a hassle. Especially because I planned it out SO well and dragged it out for 4-5 weeks before I completely threw in the towel. Well, it's been 8.5 days since I stopped all together and I am in more pain that I was this time last week (and, I thought that was bad!!).

I finally called the Lactation Department at Northside Hospital a short while ago just to get some advice. Here is what the consultant had to say:

One, I have sort of screwed things up by expressing some milk - even though it's literally been just a few drops a day, that's actually enough to send a signal to my body to start re-producing milk again. It's as though my body is saying, "OK, I see what you are doing...you REALLY don't want to stop, so I am going to help you out and make more milk." The second thing is that it isn't helping matters that Katie is a snuggler. As ridiculous as that sounds, the fact that she likes to lay her head on my chest at certain times, makes my body want to produce milk. It's just like how when she was a newborn, all I had to do was hear her cry, and the milk would "let down".

I'm looking at another 2-2.5 weeks before the milk is completely dried up, so I'm headed to the store shortly to stock up on more cabbage leaves and Tylenol/Advil. In addition, I'm going to start using cold compresses as much as I can. She said this, out of everything, really helped ease the pain for her daughter.

Oh, what a woman goes through to have a baby...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

9 months old... + a few days

Dear Katie,

I'm a couple days late on this post - hopefully you will forgive me. I actually have a very good excuse as to why I have been behind. It's called taking care of YOU! :)

Last Thursday, you turned 9 months old! Three quarters of a year since you came into this world, and I can 100%, honestly say that I don't know what the world would be like without you in it. You are growing into not only the most beautiful little girl, but you are becoming as smart as a whip. Here are just a few of the things that you have started to do over the past month:

*As of August 14th, I have stopped breastfeeding you all together, so you are now 100% on formula.

*You absolutely LOVE to drink water out of the sippy cup. Water. A 9-month-old who loves water. You're definitely our child!

*You started to eat "adult" foods here and there, along with your pureed baby food. Foods have included: cheerios, saltine crackers, gold fish, bread, toast, peaches, bananas, cheese (lots and lots of cheese), cheese ravioli, cheese tortellini (see what I mean?), pasta salad, black olives (weirdo), rice, deli meat, graham cracker (your eyes lit up the one time I gave you one) and Jell-o (it slipped out of your mouth).

*You are starting to make the transition from drinking your formula in a bottle to drinking it in a sippy cup.

*This past week, you started eating the school breakfast and lunch (so far, just toast and peaches).

*You have completely mastered crawling.

*You literally want to pull up on anything and everything in sight, whether it's Mommy or Daddy, Tungsten, the barstools, the couch, your crib/dresser/nightstand, the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, your Jumperoo.

*The door stopper is your most favorite "toy" right now, along with the drum set I bought you from Goodwill (remember what I told you - you should always bargain shop!).

*When you wake up, you now not only stand up in your crib, but you apparently think you are a beaver and are trying to eat your way through the crib (note to self: buy a plastic guard to cover the rails).

*While standing, you have let go of the wall you were holding onto and stood by yourself for 3-4 seconds before sitting.

*You have attended 4 classes at Gymboree and absolutely love it. The teacher, Amber, has nicknamed you the "resident dancer" because you LOVE to dance in my arms when the music is on.

*You laugh ALL of the time. OK, maybe not ALL of the time, but it's pretty darn close!

*You are down to 2 naps a day (please stay like this for a while!!) - roughly at 10 and 2.

*Most nights, you sleep from 7:30 pm - 6:45 am.

*You got 2 more teeth in the past month - the outer top two (it looks like you have fangs!).

I'm looking forward to seeing how much you change from 9 months to 10...I am sure that there will be a lot happening!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yoga: Then and now

Dear Katie,

Last night I attended my first yoga class since I delivered you. While you were in my belly, growing away, I took a handful of prenatal yoga classes at Peachtree Yoga Center in Sandy Springs. It was such a great way for me to relax, talk to other soon-to-be moms and, of course, stretch! One thing that I always found fascinating with prenatal yoga is that I could really spend some quiet time meditating and thinking about the fact that you were there, growing, inside of me.

Since I had you, I have had a very hard time grasping this idea that one day you were inside me, and now here you are. Live in person. Yes, obviously, I can look at you and remember being pregnant, but for some reason I don't associate YOU being inside of my belly.

Well, last night, it finally hit me. We were getting near the end of class, and the instructor was encouraging people to get into "shoulder stand". I moved into position and as I was trying to focus on my breathing, I realized that my belly (no longer big and round) was right there near my face. As I took a breath in, I had this flashback to the last time I had been in that very room, in that very same position, when you were inside me. It was weird - it finally resonated with me and it took "shoulder stand" for me to FINALLY get it.

I came out of the position and rested for a little bit before packing up and heading home. I honestly couldn't get home fast enough to see your precious face. As soon as I saw you, I just looked at you and shook my head in amazement. It's truly a miracle that one day you were inside me and now you are here. Live in person.

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gymboree Classes

Dear Katie,

Recently I signed you up for (4) 45-minute classes at a little baby gym called "Gymboree". This past Saturday was our second visit, and you had an absolute blast. The teacher, named Amber (not to confuse her with your Aunt), leads the class. She sings songs to you and all of the other babies, arranges various activities with the group, and then she gives you a little time to explore the room on your own.

Last weekend was our first experience at a place like this, and I have to say that you seemed a little overwhelmed. You didn't really interact with any of the other babies and just wanted to sit and watch everyone. This week was a completely different story! You explored, played with the toys, tried playing with a couple kids and, often times, squealed with delight during song time.

I took a couple videos and showed them to you this afternoon. I guess it was the first time you have seen yourself in action (in video)...wow! You were FASCINATED watching yourself. You bounced up and down in my lap and started to laugh...too cute.

Enjoy your videos!

Love,
Mommy



Monday, July 19, 2010

An Oscar Performance

Dear Katie,

Last Friday, I spoke to a nurse from your doctor's office in regards to your low-grade fever you came home with. Concerned that there was something serious going on, I started asking more questions regarding the rash you had been dealing with. I mentioned to the nurse that 3 nights in a row you had been having difficulty sleeping and that you were waking and staying up for 3 hours at a time. I thought she was going to reassure me that this is all part of this particular virus. Instead, do you know what she told me? She said, "Um, sounds to me like she is 'playing' you!". Say what? No. Not Katie. Not my sweet, pitiful, sick baby girl. But, "She is only 8 months old," I told her. She told me that this is where it all begins...

I picked up the phone and called my best friend, your Aunt K, and asked her what she thought. After several minutes, we both agreed that you were sick, BUT that you may need a little "reassurance", if you will, if you choose to wake up in the middle of the night (once you are all better)just because you want some Mommy/Daddy time. In other words, we would finally have to consider letting you do thathorrible thing - CRY IT OUT.

Much to my surprise, you slept extremely well both Friday and Saturday nights. But, unfortunately, Sunday night rolled around and I should have known you would wake up - I mean, it was Sunday night after all.

Once again, you suckered me in, and this time I blamed your painful gums. So, I rocked you. I rocked you for 45 minutes and decided you were good and relaxed, and then this happened:

I put you into your crib.
You started to cry.
I left the room.
I consulted with your Dad while you wailed in your room.
I caved and went back in and picked you up.
I rocked you. This time for 15 minutes until I thought you were REALLY good and relaxed.
I put you into your crib.
You screamed.
I left the room.
I consulted with your Dad while you screamed bloody murder in your room.
He (caved) and went back in and picked you up.
He rocked you. This time for 25 minutes and put you into the crib because you were trying to rip his chest hair out in chunks. Yes, that's right.
He put you into your crib.
You completely lost your sh*t.
And you then continued to lose your sh*t for the next half hour until you completely passed out, stomach down, butt up in the air, pacifier in your mouth...until 7:30 this morning.

Well, I had seen it in the movies. I've read about it in books. I've had friends tell me about this happening before, but I can honestly say that I had no idea that at 8-months you could start to show such a personality. Honey, dramatic doesn't even begin to describe what we saw over the monitor.

You were literally throwing yourself down on your mattress, thrashing around, screaming - I mean SCREAMING. Then, you would get real quiet and look around as though you were waiting for someone to walk into the room. When no one would come, you would sit up, make fists with both hands and start screaming/grunting as loud as you could. Bravo, my child...bravo.

And, the Oscar goes to...




Love,
Mama

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On the mend

It appears as though the drama from last week is finally coming to an end. No question that we were hit with a double-whammy last week between the viral rash and teething. We're still battling teething issues, but honestly, I'll take it any day over the symptoms of a nasty rash.

One tooth finally cut through on Friday (right top outer tooth-in between the Eye tooth and center tooth) and another one is just about to bust through. She isn't feeling 100% because of this tooth - there is a blister over her gum, so I suspect it will come through within the next couple of days.

I bought some Orajel night time medicine and it definitely seems to be doing the trick at night. Last week was worse than having a newborn in terms of the lack of sleep we were getting, so if it's the Orajel that is doing the trick, I'll keep applying it until the tooth comes through!

I'm looking forward to a good drama-free week! ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One Helluva Week

Wow. I had several people warn me that parenting takes on a whole different feel whenever your baby gets sick. I had no idea. Again, wow.

I received a call from her daycare on Monday afternoon around 1:00 letting me know that she had a fever of 101.1. They told me she had to stay home on Tuesday and could return once she didn't have a fever for 24 hours. They also mentioned that there is a virus floating around that some of the older kids (toddlers, maybe?) had contracted and it consisted of a fever and a rash. I wasn't worried. I thought I would err on the safe side and take her to the pediatrician - knowing that it was probably one of two things - either teething or an ear infection.

After sitting at the doctor's office for an hour and 15 minutes, they finally took me back, took one look in her mouth and told me she was teething. 2 top teeth (the outer top two in between the front teeth and the K-9's) were starting to surface. Phew. At least it wasn't an ear infection.

She was cranky that day, I gave her Tylenol before bed as well as some teething tablets and called it a night.

We had a Mommy and Me day on Tuesday and I SO enjoyed it. She was a little fussy, but manageable. I considered myself lucky that day to have been able to spend time with her, go to the playground, go for a walk, play indoors, etc. She was fever-free all day, so I packed her diaper bag, made bottles and hit the sack.

Then came the screaming at 2 am. I didn't even have to pick her up to know she had a fever. 102.5. And on top of that? A rash. Great.

And, honestly, it just went from bad to worse from there - everything from the actual rash itself to just how the days/nights went. I'll spare you all the details, but will say that last night - or should I say "this morning" - she went to bed at 4 am. Today, she cried almost the entire day until 4:00 when I got smart, put her in the car and literally drove around Smyrna for 2 hours. 2 hours!!! She sat there for part of the time and then finally drifted off to sleep.

I can honestly say that today was the hardest day that I have had in the 8 months of being a new mom.

I am sure tonight will be another long night - she has already woken up once in the hour that she has been in her crib. I'm planning on moving the ottoman back into her room, bringing a pillow and a blanket and am prepared to rock with her all night if I have to. As long as she lets me sit down (unlike last night where I had to walk around her room for several hours)...

But, I will say that despite all of the crappiness that this week brought, I have never been so happy to hear the words, "Mamamamamama" that came out of my baby's mouth for the first time late last night (and two times today)!



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby's First Plane Ride

Dear Katie,

I have mixed emotions about this blog post. On one hand, I am so excited that you were able to experience your first plane ride this past holiday weekend. On the other hand, I am still completely traumatized by the fact that you were Crying sobbing uncontrollably for 30 solid minutes on the return flight - accompanied with a blowout and major spit up upon exiting the plane.

I went into both flights thinking that I could really care less what other passengers think if you get upset. You're a baby. You cry. You can't help it if your ears begin to hurt - you can't chew gum, yawn on command or swallow in a way that will help make them pop. Your mother, on the other hand, can help you by not trying to feed you a ridiculous amount of food thinking that the continuous "sucking" will help remedy the situation. But, guess what? I cared. I cringed. I almost started crying myself because all I could think about is what do all of these other people think? Daddy, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less about everyone else. He got it. He understood what you were going through and may have spent more time trying to calm me down than you.

So, as you may imagine, I am left with mixed emotions. I want to take a solo flight with you next month to visit family, but am terrified. Forget how I am I going to lug everything into the airport, through the airport and onto the plane - what am I going to do if you start crying uncontrollably and I don't have your Dad with me to help (calm me down)?

What probably topped the entire situation off is that as soon as we exited the plane, you not only let out a large burp, but you spit up everywhere and then started to crack up. If only you had done that on the plane...

Love,
Mommy




Friday, July 2, 2010

She's On the Move!

Dear Katie,

Today is a big day for you. While you have been on the verge of crawling for the past week, I am going to officially declare July 2, 2010 as the day you started crawling. Not only did I witness it this morning when I dropped you off at daycare, but I witnessed it tonight in your nursery. You don't go more than a few crawl "steps" at a time, but it's enough that I can say you are a crawler!

Daddy better get to work this upcoming week on baby proofing! Our lives as we know it will never be the same.

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Call me crazy!

Well, I never in a million years thought I would be saying this, but Katie is sleeping in her first...are you ready...cloth diaper!!! I also never thought I would be so excited (and confused) about something, but I am. I don't remember exactly how this all started, but several months ago I started following a few different people on Twitter who are not only new moms, but also women who tweeted about their love for cloth diapering. Slowly, I became intrigued by the idea. Not only could I save money, but I could do something positive for the environment.

Naturally, I thought that cloth diapering was like the "olden days" where there was a white cloth diaper, two monstrous safety pins and a toilet involved. Little did I know that the world of cloth diapers has been modernized. Not only is there no more toilet dunking, but the choices/styles are endless. Compare what used to be just strictly Hanes White Women's Underwear to the current world of thongs, bikini briefs and boy shorts - all in a variety of brands. Cloth Diapering is the same - you have your standard old school cloth diapers (now called pre-folds), but also pocket diapers, all-in-one's, diaper covers and so much more!

I emailed one Twitter friend, Joanna (blog found here), with a million questions and started to get inspired. I then reached out to a local message board to see if there were any cloth diapering moms out there, and sure enough a couple responded. Honestly, it's a whole new world out there - and a VERY confusing one at that!

Some friends recommended I try a company called "Jillian's Drawers" where I could order a trial pack of a variety of different diapers. This would help me determine what I like best (and what Katie will like best as well). They sent me pre-folds, pocket diapers and all-in-ones.

Katie is sleeping soundly right now in a "pocket diaper" and, assuming there aren't any middle-of-the-night blowouts, all I will have to do is remove the insert, throw it in the wash, put a new insert into the pocket and start again! For now, we'll stick to regular disposable diapers at daycare, with hopes to eventually transition into cloth 7 days/week.



Monday, June 28, 2010

The Foods She Eats

I realized that I probably should be a little better about documenting which foods she eats, which ones she likes and which ones she dislikes.

So far, here is what she has had and the result:

Applesauce (fresh or jarred): Loves
Pears (fresh or jarred): Loves
Bananas (fresh) - Loves; Jarred - Dislikes
Nectarines (fresh) - Likes
Peaches (fresh) - Loves

Peas (frozen/cooked and jarred): Loves
Green beans (frozen/cooked): DESPISES; Jarred - Likes
Yellow Squash (fresh): Likes; frozen: DESPISES
Avocado (fresh): Despises (although I think we are going to try this one again soon)
Carrots (fresh): Likes

As with most babies, she tends to lean towards the fruit more than the veggies. Tonight we introduced meat - she had Turkey and Sweet Potatoes and ate them right up! Tomorrow night: chicken!

Katie's Latest Trick

She has taken up waving recently! Here is a cute video.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Cutest Laugh EVER

We took a road trip this weekend to visit family, and to help keep Katie entertained during the ride, I would periodically sit in the back seat. At one point during the trip, SHE initiated a game of peek-a-boo with me, which was incredible (she would look away, then turn and look at me and start laughing - something I do with her all the time). Of course, her laugh in this video was nowhere near what it had been in a previous game, but you get the idea! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

She wants to crawl!!







Father's Day

Dear Katie,

Yesterday you helped Daddy celebrate his first Father's Day. The perfect day...breakfast, Home Depot and the playground. You just being here made his day so special.

Love,
Mommy



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Interfering with Bedtime Routine

I'll be honest. I never understood it when my mom friends would talk about how they didn't want to get "off schedule" with their baby's bedtime routine whenever friends wanted to get together. My thought was always, "Can't you just put the baby down at the friend's house (or my house)?" I didn't get it...until now.

This afternoon, we had plans to go to some friends for a BBQ. Knowing Katie's eating schedule, I knew I would need to feed her around 5-5:30, but didn't know what to do for dinner, which normally consists of barley and a vegetable. Honestly, I didn't want to bring the food with me because it would be too much of a production, and she is VERY accustomed to getting a bath immediately after dinner and I was not going to bathe her at our friend's house. So, the plan was that I would breast feed her around 5:30 and then we would scoot out of there by 7 so that we could get home, feed her, get her in the tub and have her asleep by 8 - 30 minutes later than normal.

Well, everything was on track until she completely passed out in the car on the way home. She slept all the way until I carried her (car seat) upstairs and set it down on her bedroom floor, and then she just sort of slowly opened her eyes (probably wondering why she was in her car seat in her room). I debated what to do - do I try to awkwardly get her out, leave her in her dress and put her in her sleep sack? Do I get her out and bathe her? As I stood there staring at her, she started to really wake up, so I decided to get her in the bath.

While I was able to bathe her, get her dressed in her PJ's and get her to bed (after 2 attempts with rocking her), it really is amazing to me how just slightly throwing off your routine can throw off her/our entire night. I did breast feed her a little bit since she didn't ever eat her barley and veggies. I'm really curious as to how the rest of the night goes...

I guess this is good training for us for when we are out of town in the next couple weeks visiting family. We are going to be faced with these types of scenarios a couple of times and will just have to figure it out and deal with it...

Again, I never understood it...until now!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pregnancy Announcement Video

I was going through my YouTube account today and happened to notice that our "Pregnancy Announcement" video now has over 11K views - not too shabby for some little video that was posted just over a year ago. I thought it would be fun to share (again) with the rest of you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Short Update

Well, this goes without saying, but I have been terrible about blogging lately. If that wasn't the biggest "DUH" statement ever...Anyway, we have had so much going on that come 9:00 p.m. when I finally get to sit down in front of the computer, all I want to do is check email, tweet and check Facebook before hitting the sack.

Katie turned 7 months this past Saturday (7 month letter to come soon) and she has been just wonderful to be around (not that she ever wasn't). She is becoming SO much fun and I have just been soaking up as much Katie time as I possibly can over the weekend and the little bit of time we have together in the mornings and evenings.

Hopefully things will settle down in the next day or so and I can get back to updating. In the meantime, here is a picture I took this morning.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I think I am officially sold on making baby food for Katie. For those of you that have known me for a long time, you know I like to save money wherever I can. Well, after I did the math tonight on what I saved by making her some food, I am officially 100% sold.

2 sweet potatoes from Publix = $1.38 = jars of baby food!

9 jars of baby food from Publix = $6.93!!

So, by spending 20 minutes (9 of that was the sweet potatoes cooking in the microwave), I saved us $5.55! Not too shabby if you ask me.

So far, her favorite homemade baby food (in no particular order) includes peas, applesauce, pears, bananas and sweet potatoes. The foods she (literally) gagged at were mashed avocado and green beans.

If only I had the gagging on video...so dramatic!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lack of Coping Skills?

I know I am over-reacting (because that is what I do) and this is going to sound really ridiculous, but is it possible for a 6-month-old to already show signs of no coping skills (or the lack thereof)? OMG - it sounds even more ridiculous now that it's out in the open as opposed to the question flowing repeatedly in my head (:::wants to hit backspace key so bad:::).

Seriously, though, what is the deal with this little one getting SO frustrated over the smallest things?

1. Her toy was in front of her, but she couldn't reach it - freaked out.
2. She couldn't get a ball into her mouth because it was too big - really freaked out.
3. Picked up a plastic ring and, well... - REALLY, REALLY, REALLY freaked out.

I've googled "Baby Coping Skills" and it's probably the first time in my lifetime that I can barely find any topics. That should ease my mind, right? No. I still need answers. Please.

That's your cue...please email me or post your comments! What's your experience with babies getting frustrated like this? I'm assuming it's normal, but I need some reassurance, please!

Good night.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

6-Month Check-Up, Constipation, Fever, Colds...Oh My!

Dear Katie,

My dear, you have had a rough week (and, so has your mommy, but that doesn't count!). You kicked off the week with your first real experience with constipation. No poop for 4 days, and then thankfully - before Mommy had to go buy/insert suppositories - you cleared out your system (and blew through a couple outfits - no pun intended).

Yesterday, on my Wonderful Wednesday off from work, I took you in for your 6-month check-up. Once again, the doctor declared you were "perfect"! You now weigh 15.13 lbs, are 25 1/4 inches long, and are in the 50th percentile for height/weight and the 90th for your head. Big brains, I am sure! You were great at the appointment, but unfortunately we had to end it with 2 shots in the leg. That moment right there changed the course of our happy day.

I'd say from there on out, until 5:00 this morning, I saw a different side of you. Cranky, tired, fussy, irritable and sometimes just downright angry. Almost.all.day.long.

You practically fell asleep during dinner (this was after you dramatically made gagging noises when I tried feeding you avocado), started to doze off in the bathtub when I was washing your hair, and had a complete meltdown when I was getting you dressed. I honestly couldn't get you to bed fast enough and by 6:25, you were out like a light.

I got to spend a pleasant evening eating dinner, playing online, watched TV with Daddy and then hit the sack...only to be woken up an hour later (around midnight) by you not feeling well. It turns out, you finally developed your first fever as a result of the vaccinations, and boy were you upset (and hot!). Poor little munchkin. I don't think I have ever seen you so upset/angry and just downright miserable.

I stripped you down, took your temp (it was mild - 100.1), gave you Tylenol and then rocked you back to sleep. Without going into all of the details, let's just say that Mommy didn't go back to bed until 3:30 this morning because you woke up so many times and only to be woken up again at 5:00 by a little baby who didn't want to go back to bed. Wow.

2.5 total hours of sleep + unhappy baby = very sad/cranky Mommy.

BUT

Very sad/cranky Mommy + Starbucks coffee = energized happy Mommy.

Thankfully, when I picked you up tonight from daycare, you were as happy as could be! Now, please...pretty please, let Mommy and Daddy get some sleep tonight.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blog Hoppin'

”MMButton”

It's funny - I have been looking for new moms to follow on Twitter recently and have
even been looking for some new blogs to follow, and then I stumbled upon the "Blog Party" tonight while reading one blog I like to check out. Apparently it's an online event that is taking place this week, where you can link up to other blogs and "meet" other bloggers.

So, on that note, let me give you a little background about me (in case anyone except the handful of friends/family who read this are curious)!

My name is Erin. I live in Smyrna, GA and decided to start this blog right after I got pregnant. After struggling to come up with a name, I decided on "Smyrna Baby" - it seemed appropriate since "Smyrnagal" is my user name on a couple different sites I frequent.

We have a 6-month-old baby girl who is just perfect in every possible way. She's so cuddly, sweet as could be and has the funniest personality.

I was one of those crazy pregnant people who didn't find out what we were having. If I had been a betting woman, I would've put down a lot of money on boy odds. A lot. When the doctor announced "It's a girl!" I think I actually questioned her because I was that sure.

So far, I love being a Mom, but honestly could not be a SAHM. For those of you that are, I don't know how you all do it, but I commend you. I feel guilty for wanting to go to work, but that's just my personality. Don't fault me.

I love blogging, I love emailing, I love social networking, I love the Internet. I'm addicted to Twitter and Facebook, and honestly sometimes think I should go to rehab for this addiction.

I could go on-and-on, but that's enough for now. Please leave comments and leave a link to your blog. Like I said, I am looking for more to follow (because, you know, I have all this free time on my hands)...

Grandma Comes to Visit!

Dear Katie,

You have just had a whole slew of visitors lately - Grandma C, Nana S and this weekend Grandma M! How much fun you have had with everyone. Your mommy gets such a kick out of watching you with each person and to see how you "take" to them. Even better, I love how each person gets to see you hit a different developmental milestone. This past weekend, Grandma M got to see you sit up by yourself for the first time! Now, we can't necessarily get up and walk away because I am sure you will just topple over, but you do seem to stay sitting upright by yourself for quite some time!

You and Grandma got to visit the Georgia Aquarium for the first time and you both just loved it! I will say that if we ever decide to go again, we will get there early in the morning. There were just way too many people, but regardless, we had a blast!

Afterward, we took you to see your Great Aunt B. You rolled all over the place, showed everyone how you love to sit up and bounce and we walked around the garden so I could show you all of the flowers.

You'll get to see Grandma M in about 5 weeks and will have to save any new tricks until then...okay?

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

6 Months Old

Dear Katie,

I'm at a loss for words. Today you turned 6 months old. I could have sworn I just wrote about you turning 5 months old, and now here it is already one month later. You've changed so much in the past month. You have started to develop quite the personality and I am fascinated to watch as it continues to change day-by-day.

In the past month, you have hit several milestones. The biggest, I would say, is that you have gone from having no teeth to suddenly having two bottom teeth! WOW! You continue to check out your hands, but suddenly they are not as interesting to you as your feet are. I have noticed just in the past couple of days, that you have started to put your feet in your mouth - primarily when you are laying in your crib.

We have upgraded you from only 1 tablespoon/day of oatmeal to 5-6 tablespoons! Every day, around 11:00-11:30, you have 3 tbs of oatmeal...and, around 6-6:30, you have 2-3 tbs of oatmeal ALONG with a little bit of baby food. This week, we introduced you to green beans, and tonight when you polished off the jar, I brought out a jar of peas. You gobbled them right up! My good little eater! :)

These days, you have little interest in going in your swing, but instead you continue to love to play on your mat and could spend hours bouncing in your jumperoo! Once you got the hang of it, now you want to bounce all of the time!

Another major milestone you hit in the past month is that you now roll over from your back to your stomach - and suddenly you LOVE tummy time! You love it so much that you started sleeping on your stomach two nights ago...and freaked Mommy and Daddy out in the process! But, we've now grown accustomed to this new habit of yours and, personally, I think you sleep better in this position!

6 months...wow...I honestly cannot get over it. You're growing up fast...slow down, will ya?

Love,
Mommy

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fernbank Forest

Dear Katie,

Today, you embarked on yet another adventure and this time with your mommy, daddy AND your Grandmother C. This time, we ventured down to "Fernbank Forest" - a place a friend of mine recommended - and walked around the trails for about an hour. According to their website, "Fernbank Forest is a 65-acre tract of relatively undisturbed mature mixed hardwood forest. It is a small remnant of the type of forest vegetation that originally covered the Piedmont region of Georgia, including the Atlanta metropolitan area." As always, you were the perfect angel and just talked and talked, sang, looked around and just enjoyed yourself!

Afterward, we left and headed down to the Decatur Square and had some lunch. Your Grandmother had never been to that part of town, so we thought it would be fun to try something new (and, of course, it was!).

Tomorrow is Mother's Day...my very first Mother's Day. Hard to believe that one-year ago tomorrow, we were driving back from the beach and you were in utero. It will never cease to amaze me at how fast time goes by.

I can't wait to celebrate with you!

Love,
Mommy

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Dear Katie,

Yet another Wonderful Wednesday has passed and, of course, we had nothing but a wonderful time! For the second week in a row, it was a girls day - you, me and your Grandmother C. We loaded you up in the car and took you to Einstein Bagels so we could enjoy a (free) bagel/cream cheese and a cup of coffee before venturing off to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. You took a nice little cat nap on the way to Midtown, which put you in the most perfect mood for our 1.5-2 hour stroll through the Gardens. You talked, sang and just looked around at all the pretty flowers. We had such a good time pointing out the roses to you, as well as the shade plants, vegetables and orchids. At the end of our visit, we took you into a beautiful garden, sat on a bench and fed you your lunch. It was perfect, and for some reason a moment I will remember for a long time.

I can't wait to experience more adventures like this with you.

Love,
Mommy




Monday, May 3, 2010

Rolling Over

Dear Katie,

These are the times when I wish I were at home with you more. This afternoon, I received a text message from your Grandmother telling me that you have been rolling over from your back to your stomach all afternoon - just back and forth and back and forth.

You did this for your Daddy and me 2.5 months ago, while in Pennsylvania, but you haven't done it since...until today.

Will you please consider doing this new trick of yours for us in the next couple of days? We want to see you accomplish this new milestone and cheer you on!

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday's

Dear Katie,

Today we had, yet, another "Wonderful Wednesday" together. The only difference, this time we got to play with Grandma Carole and your Great Aunt Sandy! As always, you were the absolutely perfect baby. You woke up in the BEST mood, smiling like crazy. You played on your activity mat, kicking around, playing and shaking all of the toys and even spent some time in your jumperoo. We finally had to take you out of there, after you started to get very upset that one of the toys, attached to the tray, wouldn't fit into your mouth!

Around lunchtime, we took you over to Aunt Sandy's, picked her up and then went to a new restaurant in the Brookhaven area. As we were wrapping up lunch, the waiter came over to tell us how amazed he was at how well behaved you were! He said that most babies your age are usually not interested in sitting in a restaurant, but you were so good! That's my girl! :) I'm sure it means that we are in for it pretty soon.

This afternoon, we took you to the Chattahoochee River for a nice 3-mile walk. As always, you just looked around, kicked your feet and eventually took a nap.

We only have a few more Wednesday's together, so I am looking forward to planning some very fun adventures for us over the next few weeks!

Sleep well, sweet pea!

Love,
Mama

Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Tooth!

Dear Katie,

Yesterday morning I decided to feel along your bottom gum line to see if I could feel any progress with those little teeth of yours. You've been drooling up a storm, chewing on anything you can get your hands on and, sometimes, getting a little irritable (until I apply some Baby Orajel to your gums). I honestly didn't think I would feel anything, but got a nice surprise! Sure enough your first tooth has popped through on the bottom right center!

Razor sharp. Like puppy teeth.

Mommy's just glad she discovered it with her finger instead of while you were eating! ;)

You're growing up, baby girl...

Love,
Mama

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bananas

Dear Katie,

You're moving on up, girl! You have officially graduated from rice cereal and oatmeal, and today you had your first experience with a fruit. Good 'ole bananas! I wish we had gotten a couple of your reactions on camera, but they were so quick that each time we missed them. The one in particular I remember the clearest is you making a "gagging" face! I think you even pursed your lips together at one point, in an attempt to convey to us that you had no desire to eat anymore! Overall, though, you did extremely well and appeared to have a very good appetite (as always)!

We will continue with the bananas tomorrow and Monday before we move onto the Sweet Potatoes! Exciting stuff, let me tell you!

Love,
Mama

Monday, April 19, 2010

Busy Busy

Dear Katie,

Mommy has been very busy lately and hasn't been able to find any time to update your blog. It's been a good type of busy, though! This weekend, "Nana" Sundi came to visit you. She hadn't seen you since we drove you down to Orlando when you were 3 months old, so it had been quite some time!

When we picked you up from school on Friday, I honestly couldn't believe my eyes - you were sitting in your favorite bouncy seat and holding your bottle all by yourself!! One of your teachers had told me you like to hold it, but I just assumed you were resting your hands on the bottle - not that you were off on your own, feeding yourself! It was so cute to see, but sort of tugged at my heart strings at the same time.

We had quite an eventful weekend, and as always you were such a doll baby. We took you to lunch over in Grant Park, strolled through a very historic cemetery, took you to church on Sunday (the church ladies thought you were the SWEETEST baby!) and strolled along the Silver Comet Trail.

I had really hoped after a busy weekend you would sleep well last night, but you had other plans for us. For whatever reason, you woke up 3 times last night in hysterics. I'm assuming it's your gums that are bothering you, but I could be wrong. Needless to say, with me not being able to sleep and you waking up way too many times, your Mother is tired tonight. 2 hours of sleep is not enough for your Mama!

So, tonight, I am keeping my fingers crossed that you sleep...but given that you fell asleep after only 3 ounces of your 7 ounce bottle, I have a feeling it will be another long night. But, that's part of being a Mother isn't it? ;)

Love,
Mommy

Monday, April 12, 2010

5 Months Ago Today...

Dear Katie,

5 months ago, at this very moment, we were in the hospital room looking at you, holding you, and trying to grasp the idea that you were finally in our lives. I was exhausted after having a ton of IV fluid pumped into my body, as well as getting an epidural, and then surgery to bring you into the world. Don't forget even just the flood of emotions we were experiencing.

In so many ways, I can remember these moments as if they were yesterday, but in other ways, it feels as though you have always been here. So many people told me this would happen, but I never believed them until now. Your Dad and I asked each other a couple times over the weekend how is it possible that you have been alive for 5 full months. 5 MONTHS! Almost half of a year! It's honestly crazy.

It seems like yesterday you would spend most of your day sleeping/laying in our arms, and these days you are the happiest being active. You love to lay on your mat kicking, spending time on your tummy and looking at your fingers and toes. Just recently you have started to grab a hold of your feet, although you don't look at them as much as you do your hands. You LOVE to be taken on walks...we love to stroll you around the neighborhood, take you to the Silver Comet Trail and even the Chattahoochee River Trail. This weekend, we introduced you to a "jumperoo", but you haven't quite mastered the concept of jumping. I am sure, before we know it, this is all you will want to do!

You are now eating oatmeal in the evening - an upgrade from rice cereal - and seem to like it. Soon, we are going to start moving in the direction of you eating oatmeal two times/day - hopefully by next week. You're still getting breast milk throughout the day, primarily from me pumping and, according to your teachers, have started to hold your own bottle.

We love to try to find different ways to make you laugh, and we've definitely learned we can't do the same trick more than once! You get tired of our tricks pretty quick, and seem to laugh at the most random things. Tonight, you started laughing just because I laughed...and then you wouldn't stop! It was the perfect way to end your bedtime routine.

Your Daddy and I are looking forward to seeing how much you change/develop over the next month, taking you on adventures and having visits from family and friends. I am sure we are in for many wonderful surprises!

Happy 5 months!

Love,
Mommy

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Dear Katie,

We had such a nice day with you today, enjoying the beautiful weather. This afternoon, we decided to try something new and took you down by the Chattahoochee River and walked/ran 3.5 miles. It's a beautiful setting - the paved trail runs alongside the river for a 1/2 mile and then curves/wraps all around streams, mini waterfalls, etc. Before we knew it, you were sound asleep breathing in the cool air.

We came home, and after you ate, we packed you back up again and took you and Tungsten to the dog park. I thought it may be nice for you to go into the Baby Bjorn b/c a) you would be secure and b) you could look around at all of the animals. While I couldn't see you, since you were facing out, Daddy told me repeatedly that you had a very big smile on your face! It was nice to watch Tungsten run around with other doggies and run after his ball.

We did decide, however, that it's not safe to take you to the dog park. While we tried to stay away from the dogs, there were a few that were very interested in checking you out...not safe!

You're still raspy-sounding from having the Croup, and we are anxious for you to get to sounding better. I'm hoping you will continue to use this weekend as a way to rest up, get some sleep and feel better.

We love you!

Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Croup

Dear Katie,

After waking up a second morning in a row with a raspy voice, I decided it was time to call the doctor and get you in for an appointment. Thankfully, your primary pediatrician was available to see you (I love her) right away. When we arrived, she saw us coming down the hall and immediately had a look of "oh no" on her face - she knew you weren't due to come back in for a visit since you were just there for your 4-month check-up!

I took you into Room #6 (our standard room), and told the sweet nurse what had been going on with you over the past 3 days. She listened to your chest and heard quite a bit of congestion. This prompted her to take your pulse and measure your oxygen levels - something I have never seen them do before. While a little alarming, I knew that everything would be fine. Thankfully, your levels were at 97% (out of 100%)- PHEW! That was a very good sign!

When Dr. Wolfe came into the room, I re-explained what I had just told the nurse. She listened to your breathing and agreed that there was quite a bit of congestion. She asked me if there was any possibility that you had inhaled a "foreign object", and I said that I didn't think so. While I know everything you put into your mouth at home, I don't necessarily know what goes on at daycare! I asked her if she thought this is what the problem was, and thankfully she said no, but it was a standard question whenever there is this level of congestion.

As if you knew what was going on, you let out a very loud cough right on cue - immediately the congestion cleared up for a bit. While I know you didn't do this on purpose, I still want to say thank you! You immediately relieved the doctor's mind that anything was inhaled and she was able to diagnose the problem.

You have or had the croup! Many of my friends said a couple days ago they thought this was the problem after you had the "barking" cough, but I didn't think it would go away so quickly. It turns out the cough is just one symptom of this virus, and the raspy voice is what really gave it away to the doctor.

She told me she thought you were over the hump and now on the mend, although your cough will probably linger for a couple weeks. Luckily, because I waited to take you in, she did not want to put you on any form of medications. FYI: Your Daddy and I are not fans of you taking medications when they aren't necessary!!!

The doctor reassured me we are doing everything right in terms of taking care of you/treating this virus and to just be patient - it will go away soon!

It has been quite obvious you haven't felt well given your overall demeanor. You aren't your constant cheerful self, which I miss (especially on my one day off with you!), but I know it's only temporary. Hopefully by tomorrow, my happy baby will be back!

Your Daddy and I took you and the dog out for a nice walk on the Silver Comet Trail tonight and that seemed to cheer you up quite a bit...that and a nice dinner (milk) when we got home! :)

Please get some rest tonight and feel better.

We love you!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1 Year Ago Today...

Dear Katie,

April 6th is a very special day for Mommy and Daddy, as one year ago today was the day we learned I was pregnant with you! I will never forget that day, as well as the couple days leading up to the moment I took the pregnancy test. The Friday night before (April 3rd), your Daddy and I had dinner with your Great Aunt Sandy and Great Uncle Don, as well as with Daddy's cousins. I had had a very long week at work and all I wanted to do was to have a nice cold glass of beer. I hadn't had but a couple of sips and remember practically falling asleep right there at the dinner table! I pushed the beer to the side, ate my dinner, and counted down the minutes until I could go home and crawl into bed.

The next day we hung around the house doing chores. We planned to meet up with everyone later in the afternoon, but couldn't leave until I took a little nap - something your Mommy rarely does. When I woke up two hours later, we both thought that maybe I was coming down with something because napping (especially that long) just isn't something I do, let alone for 2 hours! Once again, while at dinner, I thought I was going to fall asleep right in the middle of eating! Something wasn't right.

Sunday morning, your Daddy and I had to take his cousin up to the Appalachian Trail in the North Carolina mountains. During the drive, my back started to ache terribly and all I could think about was both eating (a lot) and sleeping! It suddenly occurred to me that maybe I was pregnant. NO...really? Could it be? I kept quiet until later that night. I had a small wave of nausea and decided that maybe I should tell your Dad that I was planning on taking a pregnancy test the next afternoon.

All day Monday, April 6th, I was sitting at work feeling extremely ancy. I was terrified to take the pregnancy test - only because I figured I had gotten my hopes up and it would be negative. After all this time of wanting to get pregnant, could it be that it had actually happened?

I raced home, but then decided I wasn't ready to take the test. I made dinner, ate, did the dishes and while your Dad was watching some TV, I snuck upstairs to take the test. The instructions say to wait a full 5 minutes before reviewing the results, but I didn't have to! Within 2 minutes, the test was showing the darkest two red lines and I knew it! I WAS PREGNANT!!!!!

I walked downstairs, shaking, held the test up in front of your Dad's face and said, "Look!" He asked me what it was and what it meant (I believe he was in denial) and I told him we were going to have a baby.

And, there you have it...that's where the journey officially began. 7 months later, you were born...and here it is one year to the date of when I took the test, and you are just shy of 5 months old. It's truly a miracle, and one that we are both SO thankful for.

Love,
Mommy

Monday, April 5, 2010

First Day of School: Take 2

Dear Katie,

Wow, honey, today you had a BIG day! Today was the first day at your new school! I'm not sure about you, but I am very happy that you are at this school/daycare as opposed to where you have been for the past few weeks. Daddy and I felt it made more sense to have you closer to home in the event that either a) I have plans after work or b) I am sick and am unable to take you/pick you up. Not to mention, I just like this place so much better than where you were!

I enjoyed meeting your new teachers - Miss Laura and Miss Lucita! I called the school a couple of times today to check in on you and each time I received rave reviews! Both teachers were so impressed by how alert you are and LOVED that you are such a cuddler! When I picked you up, I had a note stating how they spent the day getting to know you and gave you lots of hugs! That made Mommy very, very happy to hear.

Last night you had a rough night...it seems as though this cold (or allergies?) is causing you some issues again at night. You woke us up around 2:30 with the most horrendous "barking" cough. Once I picked you up and suctioned out your nose, you were ALL smiles! We were up with you for approximately an hour before you settled back down and I rocked you to sleep. Thankfully, you woke up this morning with just a standard cough, so I ruled out the possibility that you have the croup. Let's just see what happens tonight!

I'm looking forward to your second day at your new school and hope you are too!

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy 1st Easter!

Dear Katie,

Happy 1st Easter, baby girl!! I hope you had a fun day with Mommy and Daddy, despite the fact that you were very overtired. It seems as though you may have a touch of another cold, and you were up from roughly midnight-3 am this morning, and didn't nap as long this morning as we had hoped you would. But, regardless, I think you had a very nice Easter.

We took you and Tungsten to the Silver Comet Trail for roughly a 4 mile walk. You seemed to really enjoy yourself...just snoozing away in the fresh, cool air. Tungsten had a blast looking at all of the bikers passing us by and even running through a stream that ran alongside the trail. He was a complete mess by the time we made it back to the car.

The Easter Bunny visited you, but said that because it's your first Easter and you are only 4.5 months old, he wanted to go light on the goodies. Next year, however, I think you will be in for a real treat! He plans to hide all sorts of eggs for you and something tells me he may put some extra candy in your basket...but, you will just have to wait until next year.

Tomorrow you have a big day - you start at your new school/daycare. Mommy and Daddy are very excited about this new place, and hope that you enjoy meeting a new teacher and new friends! On that note, I hope that you sleep through the night and sleep as peacefully as you are right now.

Sweet dreams, sweet baby girl...and, again, Happy Easter!

Love,
Mommy

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Mornings and an Easter Egg Hunt

Dear Katie,

One of my most favorite moments is when you are waking up for the final time in the morning - typically around 9:00 or 9:30 am. Usually around 8:45, I will start to really watch you on the monitor, waiting for you to come out of a deep sleep. Out of nowhere, you will begin to stir, do a couple stretches and slowly start to open your eyes. I wait for a couple minutes just so I know you are actually awake before I go rushing upstairs to see that bright shining smile of yours. It never fails that as soon as you focus on either me or your daddy, you light up. You literally start to smile from ear-to-ear.

This morning, you did exactly that, and it is the best way I could ask to start my weekend! After you woke up, I fed you and then took you upstairs to get you dressed. Being a nerd that I am, I already had your little outfit picked out - a cute pair of jeans and a onesie that says, "Somebunny loves me!". Why this outfit, you ask? Well, because today you were attending your first Easter egg hunt and I thought a bunny outfit was appropriate!

Some neighbors coordinated this for the toddlers and older kids in the neighborhood, and I decided to take you along so you could get a taste of what you will experience next year. I put you in the Baby Bjorn and showed you off to all of the neighbors - many of which had never seen you before. Everyone thought you were just the cutest thing ever, and you kept showing off your gummy smile to anyone that would come up to you and say hello!

This afternoon, I bought you your Easter basket. I hope you like it...it's white with a purple/white polka dotted ribbon around it. It will match your Easter dress that you will wear tomorrow just perfect!

Daddy and I had a great time with you today. As always, you were in the best mood, giving us smiles and laughs. We're looking forward to celebrating your first Easter tomorrow.

Love,
Mommy

"Dear Katie..." posts

Tonight while feeding Katie her last meal before bedtime, I had an idea...it's called "Dear Katie". Moving forward, instead of the blog being written by me to you (the readers), it is going to be in more of a letter format to Katie. The posts will still be about our days, new things that Katie is learning and experiencing, but in just a slightly different format.

I hope my idea works, and I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sleep Sack: Day 3

I haven't had much to report on the past few nights, hence the lack of blogging. I will say, however, that I am keeping at it with this whole arms-out-of-the-swaddle/use the sleep sack thing and will say the past 2 nights were MUCH better. A friend emailed me and reminded me babies like consistency (thanks Jenn!), so I decided to just keep the same routine up and see what happens.

Just before bed, I put her in the sleep sack, nurse her one last time (her top-off feeding) and then put her in the crib. I have then been swaddling just her legs, but keeping both arms out. Tuesday night she slept until 3:30 before waking up with her arms flying all around (I went in, gave her a paci, and then ended up having to hold her and rock with her for 5 minutes to calm her back down...she then slept until 5:00). Last night she slept until 4:30. I woke up to her crying...went in, gave her the paci and that was all I needed to do to calm her down. She went right back to sleep and slept until 5:45.

If anything, during all of this, I have at least learned to keep my patience level in tact and remember this isn't something that HAS to happen overnight. If I keep swaddling her legs for the next couple months, so be it. Our biggest concern is making sure her arms are out in the event she rolls onto her belly.

I hope I didn't just jinx myself by writing all of this and end up being up all night!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Swaddle Update

This past week was sort of a weird one between continuing the "de-swaddling" process and I was home sick for two days with the stomach flu. In order for me to get some decent sleep, I continued swaddling her with one arm out and one arm in, and wasn't ready to tackle both arms out again until I was good and ready for a night of no sleep!

But, here we are almost a full week later and we have had success 2 out of 3 nights in a row with both arms out! Per a friend's recommendation, I have kept her legs in the swaddle so it's nice and tight but left the arms out. It's worked!

In addition, I decided this weekend to attempt to stretch the time in between her feedings to 4 hours. It only seems logical that she is ready to go longer stretches, especially given that she is getting a little bit of rice cereal in the evening. Sure enough, yesterday and today I had absolutely zero problems with her going that long. The only challenge we ran into last night was that she woke up several times - I think because of the swaddle situation, but at one point acted hungry. Just so I could get some sleep, I fed her for about 5 minutes and that seemed to tie her over until the wee hours of the morning (5 am).

I have a feeling that as she gets older, we are going to have a very early riser on our hands. Thank goodness, after she wakes up at 5 am, she will always go back to sleep for at least a couple hours, but how long will that last?! I think I will enjoy it while it lasts...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Video of Katie Eating Rice Cereal

De-Swaddling

I'm not sure if that is really a word, but it's definitely what we are trying to attempt these days. 4 months and this baby girl has been swaddled every night of her life...and it's time to start weening her! Recently, she has started to bust out of the swaddle in the middle of the night, and not only does it wake her up, but she tends to pull the blanket up over her face.

Last night, we made our first (futile) attempt. Everything I read states that you should start by swaddling with one arm out, do this for two weeks, and then move to having both arms out (with the rest of her body wrapped up), but we decided to go cold turkey all together. Needless to say, by 12:30 this morning, I was back in there swaddling her so we all could get some sleep. I did keep one arm out, as recommended, and that seemed to work wonders. She slept, and even though she punched herself in the face a couple of times, she wasn't getting as startled as she was with both arms flying around.

We'll try again tonight and see what happens!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rice Cereal

I took Katie to the pediatrician today for her 4-month check-up, and while we were there, the doctor gave me the lowdown on starting her new food adventure! I won't bore you with all of the future plans, but instead say that we were given the go-ahead to stop giving her rice cereal in the bottle and start to spoon-feed it to her!

Why waste any time! We started tonight and she loved it! Video to be posted later this week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We Survived

I could think of a million titles for this post...everything from "We Survived" to "The Hardest Day of My Life", to "Many Tears Shed" to...well, you get the point. I figured "We Survived" was the most fit - it obviously says it all.

I'd be lying if I said this wasn't the absolute hardest day of my entire life. I honestly underestimated how hard and emotional it would be to drop our baby girl off at a daycare facility. Nothing against the teachers, but no one can take care of her the way that we can. No one.

I tried to stay strong all weekend, and it wasn't until last night that I lost it. I broke down, while feeding her, and just sobbed. I woke up this morning and tried to get myself psyched up about the day and think "this is just another adventure" It wasn't until I was walking down the steps to the car that, once again, I lost it. But, I quickly pulled it together and talked to Katie about how much fun she was going to have and will have so many stories to tell us this evening.

When I arrived to the daycare, the Director was there to greet me. While I was standing there filling out the paperwork, I tried to tune out the sound of 7 screaming babies in the background and focus on the smiles Katie was giving me from her car seat.

I brought her into the infant room and seriously thought about turning around and walking right back out the door, calling into work and saying I've decided to be a stay-at-home-mom...I just couldn't stand the thought of leaving her when I knew that she was hungry and there were 5 other babies "in line" in front of her to get fed. So, I did the next best thing - I sat down in the rocking chair and nursed my baby right then and there. That way, I could have that bonding time with her, and she wouldn't have to go any longer without breakfast.

Suddenly, it was 9:00 and I needed to head out the door to work, so I passed her over to one of the teachers. Katie didn't react - didn't cry and didn't smile - just looked at the woman. I took that as my cue and walked out. I got about 20 feet from the door before tears started to stream down my face. I can't describe the multitude of emotions - guilt, sadness, etc, but I had to keep telling myself she would be fine.

I waited until 11:00 before I called to check on her. She was sleeping - in the swing, of course, and doing well. I managed to stay away as long as I could (meaning, 2:30 in the afternoon) before going to pick her up.

She was asleep in the swing, but woke up as soon as I kneeled in front of her and gave me the biggest smile. Suddenly, I realized it was all going to be OK.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daycare Tomorrow

I can't believe it, but our baby girl is starting daycare tomorrow. I've been trying to remain positive about it and telling myself all day that this is just our "next adventure", but I'd be lying if I said I'm not nervous. I know she will be in great hands, but it is such a strange feeling to leave our baby with complete strangers.

The nice thing is that she will be in the complex next to my office, so I can check on her whenever I need to...and, odds are I will pick her up around 3-4 and bring her back to work with me.

Her diaper bag is packed, her bottles are ready and labeled and her clothes are picked out. Now, if we didn't have to contend with DST, we would be all set! It's 8:15 and she should be having her last feeding of the day, but we can tell she thinks it's 7:15ish. So, for one night, we will put her to bed at 10 (which will be 9 according to her body clock), in hopes that we have a good night's sleep before her first big day!

Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Power of Rice Cereal

Everything I have always read states that rice cereal helping a baby sleep is just an old wives tale. Well, if that is the case, then we have a major coincidence on our hands. 3 nights in a row of a tablespoon of rice cereal about 30 minutes before bed has worked wonders on this baby! We've gone from her waking up every 2-3 hours because of a stuffy nose to waking up at 3:30-4:00 am hungry to now sleeping 9+ straight hours!

Everything goes in spurts, so I know it won't last forever, but I will (once again) enjoy it while it lasts!

Sleep baby, sleep!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rolling Over

Last Thursday, Katie hit a big milestone: She rolled over from front to back! Normally, this is what happens first, but she originally started to roll from back to front when we were in PA last month. It's funny how she went from hating tummy time to not only liking it, but rolling right over...all within a day!

Introducing....Rice Cereal!

Just to err on the safe side, we took Katie to the doctor this morning for them to officially diagnose her cold. We walked away with peace of mind knowing that this is all that it is, her lungs sound great and her ears look good.

While talking to the pediatrician, she asked me how Katie's sleep has been. I explained to her how she has been sleeping through the night for 2 months now, but just in the past two weeks, we have been running into some issues. While I know that most of the issues were congestion-related, I have still been questioning whether or not Katie really is/should be hungry in the middle of the night.

Dr. Wolfe's recommendation: go ahead and introduce rice cereal tonight and see what happens! Rice cereal!! Talk about a milestone. So, I breastfed her, as always, around 8:00 and then I mixed in a tablespoon of Gerber Rice Cereal with her 2 oz of formula she gets every night before bed. Right now, she is sound asleep...and I am hoping this lasts until at least 5 am tomorrow!

Our baby is growing up SO fast!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cold, Growth Spurt and Little Sleep

The poor little munchkin has been contending with a cold for the past 2 weeks! Once I realized she didn't have to go to the hospital and it was as simple as a stuffy nose and a cough, I figured it should run its course. Well, tomorrow will mark 2 weeks and I think its time to head to the doctor. She seems to feel fine, but 2 weeks seems a little long!

We started to notice yesterday that she may also be going through a growth spurt. After 2 bottles, she lost it and made it seem like she was still hungry. In addition, she keeps waking up at odd hours of the night to eat; whereas, before if she woke up, she would just need a pacifier. So, who knows, but all I can say is that I am TIRED this week!

More updates to come!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Working Mother

Well, I have officially gone back to work, and completed my first two days without any sort of breakdown. I have to say that while it was hard to leave Katie, at least I knew she was at home with her Grandmother and I did not have to deal with the trauma of taking her to daycare. For the next two weeks, she will remain at home and starting in two weeks from Monday, she will make the trek North with me.

While I can't say I was ready to actually "work", it was wonderful to be back in my office, visiting with my colleagues and talking about "adult" stuff. I told a couple people that I was really nervous that I was going to all of a sudden start talking in third person and say, "Mommy has to go to the bathroom! I'll be right back!" or something along those lines. Thankfully, I spared myself the humiliation.

I'm still in shock that 3.5 months has passed so quickly. It just doesn't seem possible that I am actually back - I feel like any day now I will wake up from a dream.